Mental health and substance use among status holders in Utrecht


In this project, in a collaboration between Jellinek Prevention, Sinai Center and the UMC-Utrecht, preventive care regarding mental health and substance use among refugees with a residence permit (“status holders”) in Utrecht is mapped and evaluated. The project is financed by ZonMw Prevention.

The problem statement in this project is: Refugees with a residence permit run an increased risk of psychological problems and excessive use of narcotics, which may be related. There is insufficient knowledge, insight and skills among themselves and intermediaries to be able to recognize or recognize this in a timely manner and, if necessary, to discuss this and/or lead them to the right care organisation.

This approach will focus on various influenceable personal and environmental determinants by means of psychoeducation to the target group and the promotion of expertise and policy support to (semi) professionals working with status holders.

Research aim

Increasing knowledge and skills of intermediaries and the end target group to promote early detection, dealing with incipient complaints and, if necessary, an adequate referral to care in order to reduce psychological problems and excessive substance use in order to promote improved psychological health and contribute to an increased quality of life of the end target group.

The target group in this project is ‘statusholders (refugees with a residence permit) in Utrecht’. The intermediary target group in this project consists of ‘intermediaries and semi-professionals working with status holders in Utrecht in the field of assistance, care, housing, welfare, psychological and other support’.


Part of the approach is an effect evaluation. The effect evaluation will be carried out by the Julius Center of the UMC-Utrecht in collaboration with Jellinek and is aimed at investigating the effect of the various sub-activities within the project. It will be investigated to what extent these activities achieve their goals and how they influence the determinants of behavior. The evaluation will focus to a lesser extent on gain in perceived health, which is the ultimate goal of this project. The reason for this is that, in a practical sense, the project mainly focuses on knowledge and risk perception, self-efficacy and skills, identification and reference to the required care provision. In terms of methods, we will mainly use qualitative research methods.